February is many things, and that includes Gum Disease Awareness Month.
With this in mind, we have a few blogs this month that will focus on what you should know to keep your gums as healthy as they can be.
Today, we will be discussing the steps you can take to prevent periodontal problems … and what you can do if you do develop a gum infection. Either way, you should make plans to visit the office of Charles F. Betts Jr., DMD. For close to three decades, Dr. Betts has been helping patients in and around Decatur, AL.
He and the rest of our team look forward to helping you, too. Just call 256-274-8680 today to schedule an appointment with us.
Know The Difference Between Healthy & Unhealthy Gums
First and foremost, healthy gums should appear pink in color, and they should feel firm to the touch. When healthy, your gums provide protection for your teeth. They cover the roots, and they keep your teeth where they should be.
In the early stages of gum disease (also known as gingivitis), you may notice some changes. Infected gums often appear red and/or swollen. Bleeding when you brush or floss is another clue that there is a problem. (It’s also a clue that you should be flossing more often.)
If your problem is allowed to persist, you can develop periodontitis, which is the advanced form of gum disease. Coincidentally, the Centers for Disease Control has reported that nearly half of Americans 30 years and older have some form of periodontitis.
At this stage, the symptoms might include receding gums, constant bad breath, and loose teeth. It is possible that your gums will feel sore or tender, but many people never feel any pain as a result of gum disease. Please keep that in mind before you put off treatment for this condition.
Preventing Problems Is Your Priority
As with other health issues, preventing gum disease should be plan A.
To do that, you should follow the American Dental Association’s recommendations. Get regular dental cleanings. Brush your teeth twice daily, and floss your teeth every day.
Based on ADA surveys, however, less than half of all Americans actually floss daily. If you are one of them, it may be because you don’t like or can’t use dental floss. You may want to use a flosser (which has a short handle making it more comfortable to use) or a water flosser instead.
The important thing to remember is that brushing does a lot, but it’s not the best way to remove bacteria, plaque, and food particles from between your teeth. Flossing can reach those places that your toothbrush can’t.
Visit Us If You Notice Problems
Keep your gums healthy is important for your oral health. That’s why we strongly encourage you to make an appointment with Dr. Betts at the first symptoms of a gum infection. With a procedure called scaling and root planing and antibiotics, we can take care of most infected gums at our Decatur, AL dental office.